Love People

Almost a whole month ago, I completed my first year of university. It was a great year; I did well, I learned a lot about myself, God, and my craft, and I began the process of following my career dreams. Yes, it was a very good year indeed.

But still, I have regrets. Even though I managed my time well. Even though I studied for every test and handed each paper in on time. I still wish I could do something over again.

I didn’t love people. And I regret that.

Back in September, I arrived at university, fresh out of high school with all kinds of expectations for how I was going to make friends and be a great person. The first couple of days, I was very friendly, making small talk with every freshman I saw. But that’s all it was — just small talk. And I regret that.

I was one of about thirteen other first years in my program. I certainly wasn’t lacking in people who shared a common interest with me. And they are all, along with our entire theatre department, warm, interesting, and friendly. But still, I didn’t find myself at home there.

I think I did it on purpose. See, I’d run away from people. I remember eating lunch and even doing homework outside for the first couple of weeks of sunny school days. I told myself and others that I “wanted to take in the sun while it lasted” and perhaps that was partly true; but now I know that I also just wanted to avoid other people.

I didn’t arrange to go to see shows or do homework or just hang out with others because it “wasn’t convenient” or “we didn’t live close by” or “I really worked better alone.” I became obsessed with my schoolwork; I was worried that my grades would falter if I lent even a bit of time to my friendships.

I even let my older friendships go. Sure, I was really busy. But still, I just abandoned everyone. Stopped all communication, pretty much. All because I was afraid of my grades dropping.

But really, deep down inside, I was afraid to love people.

I was afraid to let myself go and allow people to see me for who I was, with all of my flaws and imperfections. And let them love me for that.

I was scared of the rejection that I thought that I “knew” would come of loving others.

But I’ve learned that this is not the way to live. In fact, not loving people without reserve was one of the biggest mistakes that I made this year. Because even though its rewarding to read a prof’s compliments or a glowing transcript, you’re alone. Praise is lovely, but it isn’t a friend. Accomplishments — no matter what form they are in — are always great, but success will never love you as much as you think you adore it.

So love people. It isn’t easy. I’m still learning how. I think it’s maybe even easier for me to write an English final than truly, really invest in people on a daily basis. But it’s really worth it.

good friends

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Love. Because it is lovely. And I don’t think you will ever regret it.

Love the Lord. Love people. Because Jesus said those were the greatest of the commandments.

Love others. Because God made us to love and be loved.

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4 thoughts on “Love People

  1. Yes! You hit the nail on the head, Elizabeth. You know, I am learning that loving– real, vulnerable loving– hurts. To love is to be vulnerable, C.S. Lewis said. But oh, the joy! I am praying you find real, genuine friendships at university next year. I have some of the same regrets for a few semesters at my college (mostly being so absorbed in my studies that I was too exhausted really to invest in people). But whichever way you look at it, grades will pass away (and, as long as you pass your classes and get your degree, they won’t matter so much in even 5 years). But people are eternal souls. Have you read Lewis’s Weight of Glory? (If not, you should. It’s excellent!) Anyway he has a quote about how the most ordinary people are so valuable. Good stuff.

    • Thank you! I hope and pray that you will also be able to invest more in others and develop closer friendships. And congratulations to you on your first year finished!

      No, I haven’t read Weight of Glory. I really would like to read some of Lewis’s other books though (I’ve actually only read his Chronicles of Narnia…). Its funny though because as I was writing this post, I kept thinking of him as I believe he has the quote about how it is better to love and lose then never to have loved at all? I think that is him…not sure? Anyway, thank you for the suggestion; perhaps it will be one of my summer reading items! 🙂

      Edit: I’m SO sorry! I accidentally called you RuthAnne because another blogger (with a similar blog name as yours) who has commented/and I read her blog. Sorry! I guess that shows I should probably make sure that I wake up completely before I reply to comments…

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